I have to admit it, I like free things. Of all the freebies out there, however, free meals have got to be the best. I have found a wonderful way to get free or near free meals, and the best part is I can take the whole family!
Mystery shopping is a concept that actually has been around for some time, and is also known as secret shopping. While mystery shopping involves much more than fast food or dining, these are my favorite shops.
A mystery shopper has been compared to an undercover agent, because they are not to let it be known they are shopping for pay. The mystery shopper must remain anonymous for the shop to be successful.
A mystery shopper gets an assignment to do a particular shop. They perform the shop, fill out a form, and wait for the check to come in. The shopper usually gets to keep whatever, if anything, was purchased, and gets paid a fee for the shop plus reimbursed up to a pre-agreed amount for the shop.
There are many types of businesses that a mystery shopper might visit. These include fast food, fine dining, banks, department stores, grocery stores, movie theaters, appliance stores, hardware stores, florists, travel agencies, hotels, and more. All the shops work basically the same. You receive the assignment, go to it, follow the instructions for that particular shop, fill out the form, and wait for payment and/or reimbursement.
The purpose of mystery shopping is to evaluate businesses and their employees, and to see how the establishment looks. You might be asked if the salesperson smiled, if they were helpful and courteous, if the floors and restrooms are clean, if the parking area was clean, etc. You will have to get the name or names of those that waited on you and that you came into contact with. Sometimes this is not easy if the employees are not wearing name tags.
The part I like about mystery shopping is that I can take my family. However, you are only paid for, and reimbursed for, the pre-agreed amount, not the entire family. Mystery shopping is great for stay-at-home moms for this reason. There are various times that the shops can be done also, depending on the particulars of the shop you are doing.
Mystery shopping is an excellent way to earn some extra income, although you will not get rich from this. You will, however, get a fee for the shop, and most of the time get to keep whatever you shopped for.
One company that I shopped for on a regular basis was a great deal for our family. Our family of four would go to this restaurant, and we would order what was called for on the form sent to us via mail. This would usually cost us up front about $35. After we were back home, I would fill out the form, mail it off, and at the end of the following month would get a check for $24. So it costs us about $10 for the whole family to go eat out, and we would be so full, we would end up taking half of the food home with us!
This is my idea of a cheap and frugal meal! The company paid up to $20 for the shop, and $4 for the shopping fee. Even though we had to wait a month usually to get reimbursed, we eventually had a near free meal!
There are many mystery shopping companies that can be found over the internet. You should not ever have to pay for information to find out about mystery shopping. Having an eye for detail, keeping the fact that you are a mystery shopper secret, are two of the main things needed to be successful as a shopper.